Thursday, 26 September 2013

Jumped another hurdle....

We are moving on through this hospital saga now. There have been lots of phone calls between me and Tracy in Admissions until she could finally confirm that surgery will be this Saturday morning and my pre-op assessment was yesterday at 10am.

Tracy and I had built up quite a jolly relationship, with her starting with the theatre slot and a consultant surgeon then checking with me that she had a patient that was available then desperately trying to fill the theatre with staff. She started with all this for a Friday op then had to change it for a Saturday op meanwhile keeping me informed as best she could. At one point I even volunteered Hubby "If you're desperate he's pretty good at DIY"......well it's laugh or cry at stressful times eh? The lovely Tracy actually came to find me during my pre-op appointment just to say hi and wish me well :-)

So the pre-op is now done, that included about 45mins with nurse Carol filling in a huge questionnaire booklet then she swapped with Gavin who did the height, weight, MRSA swabs and ECG. Then I was sent to the path lab for them to take gallons of my blood, and for once that went without a hitch too.

I checked with them about my acrylic nails and they said just remove them from one finger on each hand, so I sent a text to my lovely nails technician saying I'll take them off myself and she insisted that she will pop over Friday and do it for me, so kind! I'm so lucky, I'm getting lots of text and email good wishes as well as real life hugs from those around me and last night Hubby brought home flowers and a card from his bowling friend Barbara for me :-)

Nothing more to do now except pack my little bag and turn up on Lavenham Ward at 7am Saturday.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Chipping away at the calm....

"It is what it is and just has to be dealt with" is the phrase I've been saying and the attitude I'm trying to live by. OK so being told one of my kidneys is full of tumour and has to be removed is not the best news but I'm basically a practical, fairly unflappable sort of person so why waste my energies on worrying. I have to be so very grateful for whatever got me to the point of a diagnosis when there had been no related symptoms and must now put all my trust in the medical far so good!

Telling everyone that matters is never easy but the support I've had back has been amazing. A couple of friends have very recently been through similar experiences and have shared advice on the things perhaps the medical team may not warn me about and always good to be prepared eh.

The only thing I can't seem to prepare my head for is the op itself as I was given the date of 11th October after I had chased the hospital, then on Thursday hubby was told on the phone they could now do it on the 25th,  when I phoned them back that had changed to the 27th and she had the theatre and the surgeon and wanted to make sure I could be there then she was going off to organise a theatre team. She would phone me back to confirm but probably not till Friday.

We were out with friendsL&K most of Friday and I was very aware that the pub in the forest had a very poor mobile signal and kept checking my phone! Later back at our friend's house I did get a call but only to keep me informed as she still hadn't managed to get a full team together but was still working towards 27th. She will have to get back to me on Monday!!!

I made sure my 11th October date hadn't been cancelled yet in case her plan failed and asked her to check if I needed to stop any meds before then and she checked and I do, then there was no more to be said, so we wished each other a good weekend and hung up. So not totally at my calmest just now but working on it.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Have a date with a surgeon....

It's a shame I had to chase the hospital to get a date, because recently the NHS has been looking after me quite well, however the consultant had told me more than two weeks ago that this was quite urgent and would be done in the next few weeks and definitely within 30 days! But I'd heard nothing since.

It's like the teenagers waiting for the postman to bring their exam results! I've since had two NHS envelopes hit the doormat, each time I felt my blood pressure raise just a little and each time they were nervously opened to find they were unrelated!

Two weeks feels a long time to wait, obviously not just for me as everyone was asking if I had a date yet and some had insisted I check, so I did. I've kept a full list of phone numbers I rang and who I spoke to when and what they said and eventually I was told that surgery will be Friday morning on 11th October with the pre-op assessment the week before on the 3rd.

So almost another month to wait, and it will be much longer than the consultant had originally said, but at least I have a date!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Food fusion....

It's been a very mixed foody week starting with the silver service meal we had last Saturday being the poshest. Sunday I cooked a traditional English beef roast. Monday hubby cooked us bangers and mash with baked beans (his speciality). Tuesday night was out at the local Beefeater for my favourite rack of ribs smothered in bbq sauce. Wednesday was the huge haddock at the seaside lunchtime then out again in the evening but could only manage a prawn starter. Thursday four of us went out to the totally vegetarian pub and Friday night I cooked a three course dinner for four with the lowest points ever as FriendM is with weight watchers and lots of extras for the men who are not calorie counting. Think it will be leftovers today :-)

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Fresh air and hag stones....

FriendKK and I go back many many years, but over recent years our free times rarely synchronise, however that may change now she has retired from lots of her commitments. So it was a lovely spontaneous surprise when she emailed on Tuesday to say "are you free tomorrow?" and suggested we took some catch-up time together after her early morning swim and before she collects grandchildren from school.

We went to Aldeburgh, a beautiful old Suffolk fishing town. Although we thought we may never get there as we had to follow a very nervous learner driver for miles!  We parked and took a mooch round the shops, KK bought a top in a charity shop and we chatted to a lovely man behind the counter of a 'curio' shop, then a walk along the beach to be near the water's edge. This beach is all stones, all shapes, sizes, colours and textures so you spend the whole walk scanning and studying them and amazed by their beauty. FriendKK picked up a hag stone and popped it in her pocket, no doubt to use for witchy things ;-)

Lunch was in the very popular fish and chip shop, you can't get fresher than all their local catch-of-the-day. I ate all my haddock and batter but left all the chips, KK ate all her chips but had undressed her skate wing and left all the batter.....we were both stuffed.

No time left to even walk off our lunch as we had to head home. Although we thought we may never get there as we had to follow a very large and slow tractor for miles!

In the evening I was out with the usual crowd but I couldn't eat a dinner so just had a small prawn starter and I was even caught with my eyes closing for a minute,  guess it was all that fresh air :-)

Monday, 9 September 2013

My way (#11)....

Over the years I seem to have developed some very definite ways of doing things and usually it's for a very good reason, so I thought I'd share. 

We went to the hotel with our overnight bag and smart clothes for our dinner with friends. All scrubbed, makeup on, hair done and dressed I opened my jewellery box to discover my special earrings had been packed with an earring back missing!

After a bit of manic searching for something to use instead I sent Hubby to reception to get a bit of blu-tack. Pushed onto the post at the back it held beautifully secure all evening.

What's your way?

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Saturday night and Sunday morning.....

And as with all good things that come to an end my big birthday celebrations came to an end this weekend in a big finale. Six of us friends had arranged a lovely meal in a lovely old Felixstowe hotel, The Orwell Hotel. We chose a Saturday night as they have a pianist entertaining the customers which makes it even more special.

With my birthday cards, as I've said before, BFriendM surprised me and Hubby by booking us a room, fabulous present eh.

About a week before two more friends decided to come for dinner too, then unfortunately two days before one of them was ill, so there were seven of us.

The food was excellent. The pianist was really good and happy to take requests.  We all had a great evening with lots of laughter and moved from the restaurant to the bar and stayed there till long after the bar closed to anyone but residents...hey two of us were residents so our friends became our guests. 

When they all left we just went up to bed, what luxury :-)
The bed was really comfortable and we both slept well. The hotel did an excellent breakfast too.

Before heading home we took a walk along the prom and a quick tour of the Sunday market, then it was home to cook a roast dinner for Daughter, M and the children.

A perfect weekend. 

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Friday in London....

The day for Hubby's birthday present to me.
Set off late morning.
Rain on the windscreen.
Brother-in-law not home so no first cuppa.
Good parking spot right near the station.
Oyster cards (one old one new) at the ready.
Newbury Park to Stratford.
Lived at Mile End up to 40 years ago, this time just passing through.
Quick look round Westfield shopping centre, just to say I have.
Hubby tried on a couple of jackets but didn't buy.
Latte a bit bitter for me but a fruit scone and cream to die for.
Underground again Stratford to Tottenham Court Road.
Asian looking girl with very round face and tiny rosebud lips.
Walked to Covent Garden just started raining again.
Hubby in short sleeved shirt, me in yellow raincoat.
Daft street entertainer, putting clothes on, couldn't see why, we walked on.
Stopped for a beer in the Punch and Judy cellar, I had sparkling water.
An operatic female voice as we left the pub.
A man in a silver 'tin man' suit posing for photographs with children.
A good walk round the market stalls but bought nothing.
Hanging over the railings to watch two violins and a cello.
Old lady with a little red basket collecting for the musicians, proud grandmother perhaps.
Passed a bakery with loaves in the window mostly around £2ish but two were priced at£4.75 each.
Stopped for another beer, more fizzy water was just too much liquid, must find myself an alternative drink.
Slow stroll and window shopping down to Porters for dinner.
Restaurant chosen and paid for online as theatre package so no on-the-day deliberations.
Steak and ale pie for him and fisherman's pie for me and both yummy.
Syrup sponge and custard just perfect.
Lots of people opposite outside taking photos this way, us eating or beautiful building?
Checked when we left, but building nothing special so it must have been just the bright red awnings that were photogenic.
St Martin's theatre, The Mousetrap, 60 years old (like me).
Intimate theatre, red velvet drapes, unfussy wood panelling.
Dress circle, good view.
Well acted but no character actually won me over.
Some titters but no real laughter moments.
Don't understand all the hype, it was good but not wow.
Thank you Hubby for sitting through my sort of entertainment.
We must never reveal who done it.
Chilly but dry when we came out.
Leicester Square tube change at Holborn.
Two tourist children fighting, mother looking stressed, long day for them too I guess.
Holborn to Mile End standing, planned strategy.
Mile End to Newbury Park seated, strategy worked.
Car just were we left it, always a pleasing sight.
Uneventful drive home.
In the house and into bed :-)

Thursday, 5 September 2013

First thing to go....

I smoked my last cigarette ever last night!
The consultant last Friday said it had to go and reading up on renal cancer it is a serious contributory factor and if I have to live with just one kidney in future it would be more than stupid to add to the risk of that one having problems.

I'm sure it will feel very odd not to have them in my life as I started while still as primary school....what a horrid thing to admit to eh? I was 9. We could buy 3d (that's 3 pennies old money) singles from the corner shop and would share just the one between about four of us only maybe once or twice a week, so no big addiction as money was tight.

I can remember when we used to smoke in the cinema and melting a plastic false nail from flicking in the dark, smell of burning plastic is not a good way to impress a first date. My first office job at 16 had the rule of no smoking before 4pm because of all the very valuable documents on desks, it became the thickest fog at one minute past four! I felt very grown up and sophisticated when I smoked the French Gauloises. And felt quite sick when all we could get hold of in Israel was the local brand Knesset which was no doubt made of cow dung yuk. There was the youth club play where I was the aristocratic devil and puffed my way through an enormous Churchill cigar on stage. It was just part of our world.

I've given up on and off over the years and probably got through a packet a day at some points too. Hubby was a smoker when we met and our supplies were often shared with his dad who called himself a "social" smoker because he never bought any just smoked other people's hahaha. Hubby gave up after a rough two weeks of flu some time before we had the children I think. The main conscious decision to stop was when the children were old enough to start school and we were definitely tight on funds so it was get a part time job or save money in other ways...not buying cigarettes meant I didn't have to work for another two years.

Over the last 20 years I've smoked again but never in front of Hubby or any children or most of my family and rarely got through more than a packet a week. Hubby hated it so much that I never lit up when I was with him so mostly none at all during the day since I retired and I never even had them in my bag on our holidays.

So no big deal to give them up eh? Although I really did enjoy the ones I had they have to remain as part of my history now. Last Friday when I decided, there were 8 left in the packet (I'm too tight to throw them away lol) and last night was the last one!